The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a $66,400 grant to blockchain startup SpaceChain for developing and exploring the idea of creating a satellite-based blockchain technology. If proven successful, the project can also secure additional grants from ESA’s Business Applications and Space Solutions section in future.
The grant has been provided as a part of ESA’s “kick-start activities” fund which has been established to assist entrepreneurs and start-ups to explore promising themes on space based technology and develop new business applications and services relying on space assets and data.
SpaceChain’s satellite blockchain technology is aimed to bring advanced levels of security to the transmission of digital currencies and smart contracts with the help of distributed satellite network and multi-signature transactions. Zee Zheng, SpaceChain co-founder and chief executive officer mentioned that the company is honoured to receive the grant from ESA.
He also said,” The fintech industry currently suffers from low levels of security in relation to the storage and transmission of digital currency, preventing it from achieving the same level of professionalism and trust as the traditional banking industry.” Spacechain aims to change the scenario by making its technology available to its partners in EU and UK.
The company has already tested blockchain nodes in space which operates through a three-signed system. Two of these are on the ground while one is in space. The system is much safer than terrestrial networks that transfer data through open internet connections.
“We don’t need internet access to perform this kind of transaction,” Zheng said, “which eliminates a lot of potential risks for hacking.” He also mentioned that with the amount of crypto currency being stolen touching the $1 billion mark last year, their system will make it more difficult for hackers to break-in.
Founded in 2017, SpaceChain is a community-based space platform that has a vision of removing barriers and allowing the global community to access and collaborate freely in space. The SpaceChain operating system can be used by anyone in the world and it allows users to develop and run decentralized applications in space.
“Multisignature transactions have been proven to be highly robust security measures for financial systems and we are very excited to be partnering with ESA and expanding these security measures to the new space economy,” said Jeff Garzik, SpaceChain co-founder and chief technology officer
Spacechain has started venturing into the Europe’s commercial space ecosystem since 2019 and plans to launch three more times in the next 18 months.